More Recommendations and Online Reading Groups
This month I'm looking at 'Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade', 'Fable: The Balverine Order' and 'Alan Wake', all novels that spam the media platform of both novel and video game.
My last two articles talked about the benefits of video game narratives such as NieR: Automata ‘Long Story Short’ or those inspired by them like Ready Player One. The books and novels might inspire those who play games to read, to explore their curiosity, to further understand the games and the novels that came first, or vice versa! I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey so far!
However, I recognise that just two novels might not be enough, so I’ve written a brief intro into the Assassin's Creed and Fable series, and Alan Wake.
Assassin's Creed: The Secret Crusade is set in the Middle Ages in Jerusalem as assassin Altair embarks on a formidable mission – one that takes him throughout the Holy land and shows him the true meaning of the Assassin’s Creed. To demonstrate his commitment, Altair must defeat nine deadly enemies, including Templar leader, Robert de Sable.
This novel is the first in the series; the reader's introduction to the game’s universe, offering a science fiction journey through historical context about the Crusades of Jerusalem where religious wars occurred between Christians and Muslims. The subsequent novels take place all over the world, following different assassins as they combat similar threats. I’d give it an 8/10 and recommend this to any fan of science-fiction due to its use of history as a backdrop.
Fable: The Balverine Order takes place in the fantastical realm of Albion. The city is full of riches and Poverty. Magic works but industry and science are coming. The story revolves around two friends – the privileged Thomas and his loyal servant, James as they set out for the East in search of a legendary beast: the deadly, rarely seen Balverine.
This is the first in the series, however, unlike Assassin's Creed which retells the stories of the games in chronological order this is an original story taking place in the Fable universe. The novel is a classic high fantasy story about slaying a mythical beast to save the city, yet its inclusion of science and an industrial revolution makes the world feel realistic as it parallels our world’s own battle with nature and industrial advancement. I’d also give this one an 8/10 and the subsequent sequels' fantasy world that makes the reader question the ramifications of environmental exploitation.
Alan Wake follows the best-selling crime/horror novelist Alan Wake as he tries to uncover the mystery behind his wife’s disappearance during a vacation in the small fictional town of Bright Falls, Washington, all whilst experiencing events from the plot of his latest novel, (which he cannot remember writing), coming to life…
This novel is a dark psychological horror like the stories Alan Wake writes himself. It thrives on the unexpected and mystery behind why this is happening. I’d rate this a 9/10, higher than the other as the mystery will leave you on edge; the atmosphere makes it an exciting read.
Happy reading and once again, thank you for taking the time to read these articles and I hope you can share your opinions with me! I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Online Reading Group
My aim in writing these articles is to cultivate a love of reading and an appreciation of gaming literature/narratives in both new and old readers alike. To say thank you for taking the time to read and consider my text, even if you disagree, I’ve created an online reading group on the app Discord! This can be accessed by scanning the QR code below on your phone’s camera and following the instructions below:
Install the Discord app on your smartphone and open it.
Click the Register button.
Choose between registering by mobile number or email and entering either one. You will then receive a confirmation code via text or a link via email.
Enter the code or click the link.
Complete the Discord registration by clicking ‘Next.’
Then you should be done and free to share your own opinions on my recommendations as well as your own personal favourite gaming literature and any other books that interest you.
Words: Jack Jerram Images: Jack Jerram & Adobe Stock